Christmas in July and Blue Dogs

Hello kitty cats! It’s fair to say that this year is running away with me!

July has also been full of Christmas orders which has made me feel like we are at the the end of the year! Let’s look at what’s been going on…

These mini Christmas monsters are all ready for my customers 4 grandchildren❤️

A sugar plum fairy mouse

I’ve finally started to get my Nutcracker themed decorations moving, this mouse will be joined by a Nutcracker soon

Finally for crochet, I’ve made another wholesale order for my friends at Mini water adventurers -this time it’s been dolphins …

Don’t they look cute!

I’m so thankful that orders are still piling in, I appreciate this more this year than any other ❤️ one of the orders is for a design I haven’t made in a while….

A lovely 4 legged unicorn

This time this unicorn will be all about the glitter!

Of course I’ve been pushing along with my coloured pencil course, I’ve done eyes, noses, and now my final tutorial piece…

Practice definitely makes progress!

I’ve learnt so much- especially about the amount of blue that you need in dogs fur!

Lastly, I’ve done something very brave that almost certainly won’t come off …but it involves John Lewis….

Kisses

Karen

Xxx

The On In Which I Got The (Pencil) Point!

Wow, what a month May was! I finally got started on Bonny Snowdon Academy course and mind blown!

I feel like I’ve been given the keys to a very special door, techniques I’ve never heard of and colour theory that I didn’t fully understand have all been beautifully explained – let’s start with the art I’ve done in the past….

The gorgeous Teddy!

As you can see it’s a watercolour pencil, with a sketchy feel, now let’s have a look at the more realistic studies I’ve been doing with coloured pencil…

A study of short fur..
A study of long fur…
And the little mouse we did in art club!

I hope you can see that this is going to lead to more realistic portraits! But what’s been happening with the crochet Karen, I hear you ask!

Well for the first time in recorded history there’s stock in the shop!!

All these cuties are waiting for you!

I’ve also been working on lots of monsters, these two sold in the Folksy Spring Market…..

The new mini monsters are proving very popular!

There’s a brand new monster on the block, this is Nox..

Nox is ready to lull you off to sleep, with his moonlit star face and special satchel for you wishes (or worries) and fluffy slippers too!

I’m now open for orders, I have a few orders to process -mainly monster!

Oh and my new rose came out, behold…

Eyes for you from http://www.Sarahraven.co.uk

What’s the coming month got in store? More of everything including a Black Forest themed bear!

Have a super June!

Kisses

Karen xxx

The One In Which The Things Got Done!

Hello kitty cats! Well I spoke too soon! COVID found me at the beginning of April – I’m glad it was the milder version and that I had 3 vaccines on board, it still managed to give me a horrendous cough, headache and shattering fatigue. The good news is I’m back to normal whatever that means lol!

Let’s have a look at what’s been happening, to do that we need to dial back to January- to when I started looking at goals for this year.

I read this book and followed Gemma James on Facebook ,Instagram you name it…

https://www.gemmajamescoaching.com

The key thing that resonated with me was Gemma’s use of the word upgrade – so I set about doing just that, first I wanted to upgrade my pet portraits so I have joined this ….

I’m working through the tutorials as we speak!

I did I live draw with Bonny a few weeks ago and this happened…..

A little Easter lamb

I have finally finished my crochet course, with an Ebook and a Facebook Group of tutorials ….

You can jump on this course by signing up here..

https://mailchi.mp/a59881afcc02/karenscrochetheroes

Once you’ve signed up I’ll send you a payment link and then the Ebook and FB group link will fly to your inbox – and did I mention that it’s only £5?

While all this excitement has been happening I’ve been working on getting some stock into my shop, including this cutie…

https://etsy.me/3s4mWBX

I’ve also started another order for my friends at Epic Bizzi Box – a shoal of angel fish….

My design

Finally there’s a new range coming! The teeny sweeties, here’s the lemon meringue lamb…

My Facebook group really helped me with this concept, are you in Darcey’s pack? Join here…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/darceyscrochetpack/

I think that’s enough for today – oh I forgot I shall be taking part in the Folksy spring Fair – I’ll pop the links and the discount code on soon!

Kisses

Karen

The Eye Of The Tiger!

Good morning kitty cats and don’t worry, the title does not mean I’ve taken up boxing!

This lunar New Year ushers in the year of the tiger, so it seemed the perfect time to add a little striped person to my range!

Let me introduce Tai Shan (named after the wonderful Tai Shan Scherenberg from Landscape/portrait artist of the year)….

This one has gone to his forever home❤️

What a perfect design to show the switch from plastics, Tai Shan features an organic cotton yarn, recycled plastic bottle stuffing and these new eyes…

Embroidered eyes replacing the plastic ❤️

The embroidered eyes take a little longer but I love the freedom they will bring to colour choice and of course no plastic!

Little Tai Shan needed a playmate so this is the design for his sister…

Tai Shans sister Toko which means hope

I’m excited to say that I have a custom order for Toko, and that’s about all I can say as it’s a surprise gift…….

I managed to finish a personal project before orders started coming in, this gorgeous Christmas stocking from a pattern published in Mollie Makes by the super talented Sewing The Seeds Of Love…

It really is huge!

It’s going to be our St Nicholas day stocking, it will save me wedging pressies into shoes 😂

I’ve been taking a course to finalise my book idea, so Welcome to Darcey’s Wood is definitely happening, and the wood remains our happy place!

It really is a slice of heaven

Finally, im looking to upgrade my art skills!

The lovely Freddy from last year!

Freddy is my usual style but I’d like to try a more detailed style and to that end,I’ve put myself on the waitlist for Bonnie Snowdons art academy – I’m so excited!

First on the list for the new style is my lovely Jasper cat….

Please ignore the washing!

I think that’s enough to keep me busy for this month!

Kisses

Karen xxx

The One In Which It All Changed – And Got So Much Better

Hello again my lovelies! And here I am as advertised! It’s time to get a cuppa and find out all the excitement that’s coming your way in 2022!

But first the serious bit! Over the last few years I have got busier and busier, you have commissioned me to make – well everything! Here’s some of my faves….

Beautiful lizards
Chair bunnies of a rabbit charity( wearing his top hat to look more in charge)
And the coolest bats in town!

This has been fantastic but my poor arthritic hands and elbows have taken a hit, and I’ve been having steroid injections into joints to keep going .

Which is fine ( I have a lovely dr who does them) but not a situation that can continue forever.

So, from January I shall be limiting my commission orders to two per month and I’ll let you know when those spaces have been filled .

What happens if they don’t get filled?

For a start I shall be making stock for the shop and I shall be bringing you some of the designs that I keep promising, like this one….

Yes it’s a Christmas doll but I’ll be starting this in January 😉

And maybe more things you or your little ones can wear, like this ….

A little bunny hat – the new ones will be crocheted

Plus of course making things for Epic Bizzi Box like these …….

A box of turtles and crabs!

Let’s talk about paintings now, I have loved the commissions I’ve done this year, like these…….

What a cutie
How dapper is this guy?

I want to extend this part of my business this year, because it’s not quite as stressful on my joints, I shall taking more commissions and testing out whether I can paint some landscapes and flowers😊

While we are on the subject of testing, I have started doing some digital illustration …….

Miss Darcey in a very cartoon style

I’d like to try some portraits digitally and I will be looking for testers for these 😊

Finally, I am going to write a book! Welcome to Darcey’s Wood will come out next year, to be followed by Milo’s magical forest, both centring around the wood near our house!

I’ve actually got a free ebook coming out at the end of this month, here’s a sneak peek …….

It’s called Darcey and the Big Treat!

Follow me on Instagram to sign up for a free copy!

Thanks for reading and I hope you are as excited as me for the New Year!

Kisses

Karen xx

Oh wait! There’s one more thing, there might just be a couple of ideas for subscription boxes on the boil, here’s the vision board so far….

Did I Blink And Miss January?

Hello kittens! And we are off to a flying start at WDS HQ! And we kicked off with a brand new design for a Friends obsessed munchkin..

He’s her lobster ❤️

I also made a where’s Wally or Waldo but I cannot find a picture? Which seems appropriate lol!

I then started a big order from one of my lovely returning customers, the first one is a larger version of the very popular sleeping unicorn …

We used all the pinks!!!!

And then to something a little sad, this little criceratops is for a a newborn whose mamma was taken from him way too soon. I personalised him with a rose that was her favourite flower and entwined their initials on the other side. I hope that he will get comfort from this in the years to come.

I made a bunny in a different style, designed by a very talented little girl….

Look at the cheeky thing in my lettuce bowl

I’ve also done something way outside my comfort zone and submitted this painting to Grayson Perry’s art club , this is my piece …

This is called Madness

Why have I called the piece madness? Because these woods have been a way of controlling my panic disorder, because they smell sooo good during bluebell seasons, the dogs and I become intoxicated and when I couldn’t see the bluebells during the first lockdown I was heartbroken!

And while we are on the subject of the woods, I took this picture on one of the coldest days recently -look at the frozen pond!

Such a cold morning

Finally, I am so happy to have a portrait commission that has turned into two this morning,! Here’s a progress pic….

This is handsome Freddie

Just to say I am closed until the 15th of March, in order to finish some orders and to get some Easter stock into my shop! There is one lonely bunny in there if you want to pay him a visit http://www.folksy.com/shops/whiledarceysleeps

The last thing I want to tell you is I have been vaccinated! I’m so very grateful for the way the NHS a has taken care of me and my family during this pandemic – I have no words for how much that little injection means to me.

Stay safe and I’ll see you soon

Kisses

Karen

The One In Which Harry Left And Meghan Got Tested!

Hello Darceyettes! It certainly has been a busy month at WDS HQ! the Unicorn Bakery unicorns were very well received and the two that were all ready made were sold on the night and I got orders for two more – for me with my limited capabilities that constitutes a sell out! you have seen Victoria sponge and Baroness Bertha Von Battenburg but here is Harry……..

As you can see Harry is a carrot cake unicorn, he has sparkly blue eyes and wears the colours of the Blues and Royals on his wings, as this Harry is a military unicorn! He smells beautifully of cinnamon and wears a slice of carrot cake round his neck.

This Harry has gone to live in Scotland and didn’t wait long enough to see his Meghan

( see what I did there ). So here she is ……

IMG_20180629_053922_436

Meghan is a lovely sponge cake unicorn with a lemon and elderflower cream mane, have you noticed that she looks a bit different? this is because she is going to be CE tested! this means she will be certified safe for children over 3. I have had to change my design a little bit, like embroidering her signature flowers instead of making them separately.  It does however mean that she will be pushed and pulled this week – don’t worry I will spare you the pictures!

I have definitely decided to do some more polymer clay, my Pinterest boards are filled with images like this……..

 

I hope that gives you an idea where this is headed. Sign up for the newsletter to find out more!

I have also received a commission for a new dog portrait but I am sworn to secrecy for quite a few weeks! so, heres an oldie but goldie to prove that I can paint!

IMG_4673

Finally I have booked a fair for November, not a Christmas fair but for our local Bonfire society, we have lots of these in Sussex the most famous being the Lewes celebrations staged by several societies. It is very popular and can get a crowd of 90 000! Here is a typical picture….

440px-Lewes_Bonfire,_Lewes_Borough_Bonfire_Society

That has been my month and I have even more lovely things to do in the weeks ahead, to be honest I have the best job ever!!

Kisses

Karen

 

My Little Piece Of Heaven!

Morning  (cough) dear (cough) reader (cough)! I have the worst chest infection in the world….ever, if you have had a bad chest infection this is it’s daddy! I was going to do a post on the comic con last week but thats going to have to wait as I haven’t edited the pics!

Anyhow shall we press on?  I am sure by now that you have realised I LURVE what I do! In fact I love it so much that it still doesn’t feel quite real, so in an effort to be more grown up and grounded in my profession I’ve got a workspace! Who wants to see? Of course you do, but that would be one heck of a short post so here’s your tour……


I have a lot of Harley Quinn and super hero stuff, I’m gradually been brought to the dark side by my husband.

And there’s ……


Lots of Alice stuff, the whole room will be all Alice eventually, this card is a promo for a musical and I like the slightly sinister feel of this rabbit, and will be using this for inspiration.

To try and ground me and help me focus ……..


The Rose Quartz and amethyst is meant to clear my energies, I don’t know if it works but they are so pretty.

For when I feel scared or lacking confidence…….


This quote from the Divergent books and film makes me feel kick ass!

There is combined cakes and Batgirl……..


Those felt macarons enable me to use the beautiful dish my mother in law gave me.

There is this inherited from my darling daughter………


I think I might start taking a few instant pictures when I’m out and about hunting for inspiration.

Finally, there are these………


Because this is my business and here are the cards to prove it!

And Finally!


There it is in all its glory, including a mannequin for when I can’t remember which way the elbow bends! And a twiggy tree full of bluebirds, my folder of to do lists. When I go to back to work on Monday this little slice of heaven will be my blogging space ( I didn’t put the laptop in, it’s Apple but it still ain’t pretty) and two years in I will say with confidence  I am a blogger and an artist and this is where I work.

Kisses

Karen

How To Make A Bag Out Of Bluebells!

Hello loves! It’s no secret that I am absolutely nuts for the bluebells that carpet the woods at this time of year, I have taken roughly a bazillion pictures (yes I’ve counted), here is just one…..

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

In the past I have tried to prolong their magic by wearing Jo Malone’s gorgeous Wild Bluebell fragrance ( http://www.jomalone.co.uk), I have brought bluebells in from our garden……

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

The colour is without compare and how gorgeous is that little flower bridge? I am so lucky to have given it a home when my mother in law downsized.

This year I have decided I will try and paint a proper picture of them, I will be exhibiting again this year at our local arts festival and I think a picture of our local woods will go down well. I am determined not to rush and I will use all the proper grown up techniques…

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Not much to see and actually now residing in the bin, I wasn’t sufficiently happy with my washes so instead of painting something else I will try and try again!

So then, pretty much as it does every day, my mind turned to handbags, I have tried to find a really pretty backpack, these are my favourite at the moment but only if they have handbag style top handles so that I can carry it conventionally or on my back if needed, I started to see a bluebell coloured, satin backpack with zips and decoration in the green of their stems…

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Again I’m going to take my time with this, I need it to be the most perfect shade of blue and the right zips etc. Of course then my mind started seeing the perfect tote in rose coloured fabric…….

I’m blaming this lack of focus on my bluebell induced mania! Hopefully I will have some of the picture to show you soon, follow me on Instagram for the most up to date images!

Have a cracking week

kisses

Karen

 

 

What A Year That Was!

It is one year, 2 days since I started this blog and it truly has been the most amazing year!

When I started I was absolutely convinced that the only person who would read it was my mum!  But that very first blog was read by several people and got my first follower (thanks Mrs P!).

It was also the year that I started to paint again, first with these two, painted for my daughters friends mums!…….

image

image

I started work officially in March and offered a painting as a prize in a charity auction, and things took off from there commissions have flowed thick and fast……..

image

I have also crafted until my fingers have nearly fallen off, I will have done three craft fairs by the time you read this, here I am at Seddlescombe Vintage Happening……….

image

This was the first time I had sold things I had designed myself, like these hearts…….

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So, in a year when my physical health has declined it is the sheer joy of doing what I love most, and getting paid for it, that has held my head together.

December 10th 2012 was my first panic attack and three years later I am self employed artist! from not being able to walk the few feet to the bin to this seems like a miracle, but like all miracles its hard work, support from all sorts of people and the will to get better that finds me here…I couldn’t be more grateful.

Finally, thanks again to all of you that drop by to this little but very precious space,you will never know how much you mean to me.

Extra big kisses

 

Karen